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APG Fact Check: Interim Balance Sheet Electricity Winter 2022/23

Assumptions of the APG stress test confirmed, mild temperatures had an additional stabilizing effect on the system

Die AnThe assumptions of the November 2022 electricity stress test (combined scenario - high probability of occurrence) are confirmed: increased power plant capacity in Germany and, contrary to the original assumptions, good coal stockpiling as well as mild temperatures that dampened electricity consumption in winter were decisive factors for the security of electricity supply.

Gerhard Christiner, Chief Technical Officer APG: “It is positive that certain critical conditions did not materialize. The reason for this was that Germany continued to operate three nuclear power plants and feared coal shortages did not materialize. In addition, warm temperatures in Austria and Europe in the first winter months of 2022/23 ensured that consumption dropped significantly at times.”

However, the winter once again demonstrated the importance of the domestic transmission grid for the electrification of businesses, industry and society. Although many factors had a positive impact on the electricity consumption, Austria had to import high volumes of electricity during the winter. Thomas Karall, CFO of APG: "With 100.5 GWh, we reached a historic daily high in electricity imports on December 21, 2022, and one day later we recorded another record high: at midnight, the historically highest 15-minute import capacity of 5,551.6 MW was reached. That's about half of Austria's peak load." 

Days like these show how important high-capacity electricity grids are. "Without a proper expansion of the electricity grids, there will be no energy transition," adds APG manager Karall. Due to the increased generation of green energy, much more electricity needs to be exchanged in Europe because renewable plants provide energy when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, and not according to our consumption. "Taking advantage of effects resulting from the European energy mix through the transmission grid is the order of the day," says Christiner.

Grid reserve remains first line of defense in critical situations

Since the trans-regional transmission grid regularly reaches the limits of its load capacity, redispatch measures, i.e. interventions in the power grid, are necessary almost daily to stabilize the grid. In regions with low renewable generation, gas-fired power plants have to be started up, while in regions with generation surpluses, power plants (some of them renewables) have to be shut down. "As long as the grid is not massively expanded, we will continue to rely on gas-fired power plants and will not be able to fully utilize renewables. This shows why it is so important that the power grid expansion is given the same priority as the expansion of renewables," says Christiner.

About Austrian Power Grid (APG)

As independent transmission system operator Austrian Power Grid (APG) is in charge of ensuring the security of electricity supply in Austria. With our high-performance and digital electricity infrastructure and the use of state-of-the-art technologies we integrate renewable energies, we are the platform for the electricity market, we provide access to reasonably priced electricity for Austria’s consumers and thus create the basis for Austria as supply-secure industrial and business location and place to live. The APG grid totals a length of about 3,400 km and is operated, maintained and continuously adapted to the increasing challenges of the electrification of businesses, industry and society by a team of approximately 733 specialists. Also in 2022 Austria had a security of supply of 99.99 percent and thus ranks among the top countries worldwide. Our investments of 490 million euros in 2023 (2022: 370 million euros) are a motor for the Austrian economy and a crucial factor in reaching Austria’s climate and energy targets. Until 2032 APG will invest a total of approximately 3.5 billion euros in grid expansion and renovation projects, which amounts to approximately 19 percent of the total of 18 billion euros which the energy industry will invest in the grid infrastructure over the next ten years.

Press contact


Christoph Schuh

Wagramer Straße 19 (IZD-Tower)
1220 Wien

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